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Why Activated Charcoal Is Not a Cure for Celiac

By Lana Bandoim

If you are part of the celiac disease community, then it is common to hear members discuss activated charcoal. Some take it immediately after accidentally eating gluten and others take it as a precautionary measure. However, activated charcoal is not a cure for celiac disease and has several side effects.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal usually appears as black or dark gray tablets and capsules. It is also available as a powder, but most people take it in pill form. Activated charcoal can be purchased online or in many retail stores. It does not require a prescription and is generally inexpensive.

Why Do People Use Activated Charcoal?

People may take activated charcoal for several reasons. First, it is commonly used after a poisoning or overdose. Consult a poison control center before taking activated charcoal for this reason. Some people take it stop gas or an upset stomach. Others use the tablets or capsules so they can bind to toxins in the body. Although people continue to use it after a hangover, research does not prove it works.

Does It Help Celiac Disease?

People who have celiac disease cannot eat gluten because it can lead to damage in the small intestines. However, cross-contamination is a big problem, and it is hard to avoid all traces of gluten. Some people accidentally ingest gluten and turn to activated charcoal for help. They think that it can bind gluten and relieve symptoms. Unfortunately, current studies do not show that activated charcoal can bind to gluten and stop it from damaging the small intestines. In addition, there is no cure for celiac disease, and this product cannot heal the condition.

What Are the Side Effects?

Although activated charcoal is generally considered a safe product, it does have several side effects. The most common ones include constipation. Less frequent side effects include dehydration and intestinal blockage.

In addition, most medications interact with activated charcoal. It is not recommended for people who take birth control, blood pressure medications, vitamins or other drugs. Activated charcoal can affect the body’s ability to absorb medicine. Doctors suggest using it several hours after taking medications and being aware of its impact.

If you have celiac disease, then it is important to understand why people take activated charcoal. Keep in mind that it is not a cure and has side effects. Learn more about this medication and ask your doctor for additional information.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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